We're Black and Blue All Over:
Last month, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was asked if veteran punter Chris Kluwe would be with the team in 2013. Spielman wouldn't answer. Kluwe has the highest gross average (44.4 yards) in team history, but he was inconsistent last season and is entering the final year of his contract.
Late last week, there were indications that the Vikings have worked out one of the highest-rated punters available in the draft. On his verified Twitter account, LSU punter Brad Wing re-tweeted a follower's wish of good luck Thursday in a workout with the Vikings. Later Thursday, Wing tweeted: "Had a good workout today! #blessed."
Private workouts with punters aren't common, but there are several reasons why a team might want to follow up with Wing. He didn't punt at LSU's pro day last month because of a strained hamstring. Also, there is a character question to at least investigate after he was suspended from the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl for violating team rules.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper lists Wing as the draft's second-best punter. A native of Australia, Wing averaged nearly 45 yards per punt over two seasons at LSU. It's important to remember that workouts don't indicate a team's plan to draft a particular player. Sometimes they prompt a team to look elsewhere.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Former Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield, whom the team would like to re-sign, has plans to visit the Seattle Seahawks this week, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings assistant coach Mike Singletary on the team's situation at middle linebacker, via Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "We know we have to get one. That's no secret. When we do, we just have to teach him as much as we can, as fast as we can. It's going to be a lot of work."
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune illustrates how the Chicago Bears are one of the teams that is loading up at a discount in a flooded free-agent market.
The Bears will host Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown on a visit starting Monday, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Devin Hester on reducing his role to primarily special teams, in a radio interview via Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: "I'm fine with it. It was kind of my idea to let me more focus on my kickoff and punt return thing."
The agent for veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan confirmed the Green Bay Packers have agreed to terms with tight end Matthew Mulligan, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "It remains to be seen if tight end Matthew Mulligan can crack the Green Bay Packers' final roster in 2013. If Mulligan does, the Packers will have a rugged tight end known more for his blocking than receiving for the first time since Bubba Franks' eight-year career concluded six years ago."
The Detroit Lions need defensive end Willie Young to step up this season, writes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.
Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press: "New Lions kicker David Akers has an impressive résumé. He has been very accurate historically, he tied an NFL record last season with his 63-yard field goal, and he's a six-time Pro Bowler. But it's very likely Akers is not as good a field goal kicker than Jason Hanson."